Is There a Way to Screen for Lung Cancer?
Yes. Screening high-risk individuals with a low-dose CT scan is the only proven and recommended method.
Who Should be Screened for Lung Cancer?
People who meet the following criteria should be screened for lung cancer:
- 50-77 years old
- Have at least a 20 pack-year* smoking history
- Currently smoke or have quit within 15 years. Only a history of cigarette smoking applies. Cigar, pipe, chewing tobacco, marijuana, or electronic cigarettes DO NOT QUALIFY.
- No signs or symptoms of lung cancer (If you experience any symptoms for an extended period of time, you should discuss this with your medical provider).
*How to Calculate Your Pack Years
Average number of packs smoked per day X number of years as a smoker = your pack years. Example: 1 pack a day for 20 years = 20 pack years. To calculate your pack years, visit SmokingPackYears.com.
Where Should I be Screened?
Low-dose CT lung screenings are available at six locations: the North Grove office complex on Highway 9 in the main building, at Pelham Medical Center’s Medical Office Building in Greer on Highway 14, Pelham Medical Offices at Five Forks in Simpsonville, Spartanburg Medical Center, Cherokee Medical Center and Union Medical Center.
Your doctor’s office can call 864-560-7777 to schedule this exam for you if you meet the screening criteria and have talked to your doctor about smoking cessation (if you currently smoke), as well as what to expect after the screening exam.
Why Should I Consider Being Screened?
Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer in the U.S. in both men and women. When lung cancer is caught early it is easier to treat and more likely to be curable. People with early stage lung cancer may be able to have surgeries that are less invasive.
How Often Will I Need to be Screened?
There are specific guidelines for when a follow-up low dose CT scan should be performed. Most patients will be screened annually.
Lung cancer often has no symptoms until it has spread. Symptoms may be similar to those of common illnesses. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
If you are experiencing the above symptoms for an extended period of time, discuss this with your doctor.
How Do I Prepare For the Exam?
No preparation is needed unless you have had prior LDCT Lung Screening exams performed at another facility. If so, notify that facility to get a copy of the images. Bring them with you to your LDCT exam appointment so the radiologist (doctor reading your CT) can compare them to the images from this exam. This will help determine if a finding is new or stable.
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If your doctor determines you meet the requirements, ask your doctor's office to call and schedule a screening.